Charles Chaim Wax


Not Spared By Adverse Fortune - Poem by Charles Chaim Wax

I arrived early at the El Greco Diner
in Sheepshead Bay
waited outside
the waters glistening
with black flecked streams of pink light
reflected from street lamps
and the cold I desperately desired
now here
felt better
but happiness had not arrived
so set my sights on Christmas.
Jack showed up
went inside
sat at a booth near the window
moved the curtains aside
watched the waters of the Bay.
“All true, ” he said,
“Why? ”
“Sounds bad
the part about selling drugs? ”
He paused
waiting for my reaction
said nothing
he continued, “Fell in love
my crime
she’s younger than me...”
The waiter appeared, I said,
“Two deluxe cheeseburger platters
two diet Cokes
no ice each with a wedge of lemon.”
“I got married young
loved my wife then
had two kids
my life set
happy on that path
good father, kids OK
didn’t plan for this
stopped loving my wife
but didn’t want to stop loving her
no big blowout
love gone
but still my soulmate
yet something missing
maybe only realized it at 53.”
“The drugs, ” I whispered.
“I’m afraid...
met Lynn
saw a chance for new life
an actress
but couldn’t leave my wife
not just leave
and no heart to confront her
two sons would’ve sided with the mother.
I said impatiently, “Jack, you weren’t arrested
for falling in love.”
“Seen Lynn in a small cafe...”
“Selling dope’s evil.”
“I couldn’t breathe
not a particle of air in my house...”
“I know all the sorrows, Jack
no one’s exempt.”
“Then one night Lynn sat at my table
place crowded
small round table. She said, ‘I’m sorry to intrude
but I’ve been on my feet
all day going to auditions.’
sounds like a movie, right?
desperate old man
meets a mysterious younger woman
and after that everything in his life changes...
I felt a thrill.
I JUST WANTED TO LIVE.”
“She ask you to sell dope? ”
“She knew some people
who knew some people
I had this crazy idea
to make money
not only for myself
also for my wife
make up for leaving her.
“Doesn’t make sense.”
“Couldn’t think straight anymore
got ripped off for ten grand
first time I tried
took out another ten
this time
undercover cops...
help me.”
I heard the rumbling blast
of fog horns
boats sailing out at twilight
on the dark ocean
where myriad fish
swam
and for a doomed few
utter catastrophe
from a world
they couldn’t even
imagine.


Comments about Not Spared By Adverse Fortune by Charles Chaim Wax

  • (11/13/2005 12:34:00 PM)


    Great and entertaining piece! (Report) Reply

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Poem Submitted: Sunday, November 13, 2005



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